Mom did many things for pleasure that – we now know – are great ways to help stay fit & mentally nimble as we age upward. Every day, she walked, she exercised, stayed in touch with near & far-flung family through letters visits phone, eat balanced meals & was never without the Inquirer crossword puzzle. And she delighted in taking care of children, especially her grandkids. Those seven trips she took to Australia to visit my brother Mike & his family were the highlight of those years. She was there for both Scott & Karen’s births, helped out with housework & childcare on each of her extended stays. I can only image those months felt like heaven on earth.
Taking care of youngsters has another benefit ~~ the social interaction with kinder & their parents is great for brain health. And developing caring relationships with olders elders ancients yields awesome benefits for the youngers, providing greater stability & a stronger sense of having emotional support.
Makes sense that running often youngers keeps them on their toes & getting in the cardio, plus can help reduce stress. But beware! Without the right balance, olders who run themselves ragged & fret can find themselves exhausted – stressed – strained.
In caring for her grandchildren, in Ardmore or Berwyn, Coogee or Hurstville, Mom ~~ again ~~ put herself ahead of the elder health care curve!